NEWS: ‘Airlines UK’ four-point plan to restart travel, Four Seasons Hampshire redesign and Hilton add fourth property in the Maldives

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‘Airlines UK’ come up with four-point plan to help safely restart travel

Airline trade body ‘Airlines UK’ have come up with a blueprint to get the UK back on track to travel safely.

The four-point plan calls for significantly relaxed rules for vaccinated travellers, and ‘proportionate’ Green and Amber country categories.

In an open letter, the board said a more relaxed framework would allow travel to safely reopen.

“Given the incredible efficacy of vaccines and their critical role in easing domestic restrictions, we believe that the framework can safely be adjusted to provide a pathway for vaccinated people to travel without restriction, alongside steps to reduce restrictions for green and amber categories, making them more proportionate for travellers.”

The letter added that it is important to follow other international standards; referring directly to the recent EU decision to move forward with vaccine certificates. Airlines UK said that if the vaccines effectiveness has been recognised by Europe, there is little to stop the UK doing the same.

“Today, 32 countries exempt travellers from quarantine and 27 from testing if fully vaccinated. The failure to adopt a similar approach risks the UK falling further behind the EU’s reopening of international travel, including the critical transatlantic market.

“Fully vaccinated travellers should be exempt from testing or self-isolation on arrival into the UK from green or amber countries, with verification possible via the NHS App.”

Further on in the document, Airlines UK added that it is important to follow other international standards; referring directly to the recent EU decision to move forward with vaccine certificates. Airlines UK said that if the vaccines effectiveness has been recognised by Europe, there is little to stop the UK doing the same.

“Today, 32 countries exempt travellers from quarantine and 27 from testing if fully vaccinated. The failure to adopt a similar approach risks the UK falling further behind the EU’s reopening of international travel, including the critical transatlantic market.

“Fully vaccinated travellers should be exempt from testing or self-isolation on arrival into the UK from green or amber countries, with verification possible via the NHS App.”

Another suggestion from the board is focused on making green and amber countries easier to access for travellers, calling on governments to make border requirements ‘more proportionate and affordable’.

“For amber countries, the government should stop advising against travel and ensure testing and isolation requirements are more proportionate.

“Where PCR tests are required for travel from high-risk destinations, there needs to be a genuine effort by government to drive down the cost of testing, by removing VAT and reducing the cost of NHS PCR tests to better stimulate the market. The lack of progress in this regard since the reopening of international travel on 17 May is both bewildering and disappointing.”

The third point of the plan called on governments to be more transparent with the industry, and the general public.

“Data has shown clearly that the green list can be expanded safely, including to many European countries, the US and the Caribbean, as well as to island territories separate from their mainland country and as per the ‘islands policy’ from last year.”

Heathrow Airport, Terminal 5C (satellite 2) viewed from airfield, May 2011. David Dyson

Fourthly, the board asked that the traffic light system be applied ‘proportionately’, as the current system has a myriad of flaws.

“Overall, the current traffic light framework… does not reflect the risk of travel nor facilitate safe travel as it should.

“The roadmap for the wider economy does not take a zero-risk approach to unlocking, and the same approach should be taken for travel and in the measures that apply at each tier of the traffic light system, whilst maintaining a robust red list.”

In conclusion, the board said that if travel cannot be re-opened this summer, then economic support and other measures must be implemented to sustain the industry.

“If a meaningful reopening is not possible this summer given current government policy and application of the Global Travel Taskforce recommendations, then targeted economic support including 100% furlough extension will be essential to ensure UK airlines are able to reach the point when a restart is possible, in order to protect many tens of thousands of jobs.”

 

Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire unveils redesigned rooms and suites

Guest room

The Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire has undergone many changes recently: after recently undergoing an event space refurb last year, the property has now updated it’s guest rooms and suites. Joining forces once again with RPW Design, who helped with the previous update, the redesign project includes multi-functional guest rooms and a ‘back to nature’ design.

Room furnishings have been upgraded to include sofa beds, tables, ottomans and enhanced lighting. Several of the rooms have been turned into inter-connecting options, and nine suites have been added to the mix to enable larger family and multi-generational travellers to connect.

The suites have also been designed to enable ‘work-cations’, featuring specific seating and work areas.

The Grade II listed Georgian property is surrounded by gardens and natural grounds, which provided the inspiration for the redevelopment. Natural elements were the source of the colour scheme, combined with use of natural textures. Many of the fabrics and furnishings were sourced locally.

It’s not all just pretty fabrics though – the redesign includes significant tech upgrades, many to help enhance social distancing measures.

Guests can download the Four Seasons App to order room service, speak with hotel staff, request or book services and more. There are also 65 inch LG OLED wallpaper 4KUHD TV’s to enjoy, as well as USB-powered headboards and power points in the bedroom.

Find out what extra perks such as upgrades and hotel credit are available by booking through our partners, Debonair. 

 

Hilton Announces Fourth Maldives Resort

The Hilton Group has just announced the signing of a management agreement with Amingiri Holdings Pvt Ltd to launch the all-villa Hilton Maldives Amingiri.

The 109-villa property is set to open at the end of the year and marks the entry of Hilton’s flagship Hilton Hotels & Resorts brand into the Maldives. It will become the fourth resort managed by the Hilton portfolio of brands in the region. Others include the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi, SAii Lagoon Maldives, Curio Collection by Hilton and the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island.

The property will be strategically located on Amingiri Island in the Male Atoll, which is easily accessible from the Maldives’ Velana International Airport via a 15-minute speedboat ride. It will feature 109 beach and overwater villas, each with a private pool. There will also be an exclusive six-bedroom villa, ideal for families or larger groups.

Guests can also take advantage of a larger resort pool, an on-site spa, a fitness centre and a salon. Six restaurants and bars will ensure nobody goes hungry (or thirsty). Dining options include international cuisine ranging from South-East Asian to Mediterranean, a ‘teen-only’ zone, and an adults-only destination themed bar.  

Guy Phillips, senior vice president, development, Asia Australasia, Hilton, said,

“The Maldives remains one of the world’s most highly sought-after destinations and the signing of Hilton Maldives Amingiri reflects the excellent growth potential we see in the market. We are delighted to be embarking on this partnership with Amingiri Holdings Pvt Ltd to launch our Hilton Hotels & Resorts brand in the country. We are confident their experience in developing world-class resorts in the Maldives, combined with Hilton’s strong commercial engine, will place us at the top of mind for leisure travelers when it is safe to travel again.”

The property will feature Hilton CleanStay, an industry-leading programme to deliver a new standard of cleanliness and disinfection across all of Hilton’s hotels globally.